St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message
 

Skiing squirrel? Nutty but true

By ANNE GLOVER
Published January 20, 2007


photo
[Times photo: Anne Glover]
  • Watch video of Twiggy the water-skiing squirrel at the Tampa Bay Boat Show at Tropicana Field.
ADVERTISEMENT

Rodent superstar Twiggy the Water-Skiing Squirrel is appearing at Tropicana Field this weekend as part of the Tampa Bay Boat Show.

(We'll pause here to let that sink in.)

The diminutive daredevil gave a show Friday afternoon under the watchful eye of handler and squirrel surrogate mom Lou Ann Best, whose late husband, Chuck, taught the original Twiggy how to ski behind a remote-controlled boat back in 1979. The two, along with Twiggy's successors, went on to fame after word of Twiggy's aquatic feats hit the media.

Sadly, Chuck Best died of a heart attack in 1997 while rescuing his stepfather from drowning.

During Friday's show, Best did her best to keep Twiggy, the fifth incarnation of the famed squirrel, from plunging into the portable pool off the skis, but apparent cell phone or electrical interference caused the radio-controlled boat to decelerate at one point, sending the bushy star into the drink. The veteran trouper furiously squirrel-paddled back to her perch - aided no doubt by her little life vest with its American flag design - and resumed the show after a thorough toweling from Best.

Twiggy is scheduled to give four more shows Saturday at the Trop at 1, 3, 5 and 7:30 p.m., and three on Sunday at noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Admission to the show is $7 for adults, $3 for children 5-12. Parking in the Tropicana lot is $5.

Should Twiggy be unable to perform, says Best, stand-in Twiglet (affectionately known as Fatso because of her love for Dunkin Donuts) will be ready to go on as Twiggy VI.

[Last modified January 20, 2007, 10:15:27]


Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT